A few days later and I am still so excited, proud and buzzing from Lili's (from Brooksby Dressage) Richard lesson. Lili always says that the lessons with Richard are like going to the doctors and coming out with a cure. We arrived a little earlier than planned, and we were fortunate enough to watch the lesson before Lili's. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to go watch lessons from the best trainers and riders in Britain.
After Lili had finished warming up, Richard said the start of the lesson was like the end of their previous lessons, which was just further proof of how much progress Lil has made in only a few months. The connection between horse and rider has become so much stronger and both of them react better to spooks/tension than before.
A lot of the lesson was again on making the horse more supple and over the back through different lateral movements (shoulder-fore, shoulder-in, travers, leg yield) The indoor has mirrors everywhere so Lili also had to work on making sure Fons was always straight, or that she was riding him straight. Richard said something that really stuck with me "the horse always responds to how the rider is riding" e.g. the horse will not go straight if the rider is not riding the horse straight. Something so simple, but it was a really big 'light bulb' moment for me! So often you hear complaints of the horse not being straight, but instead of the rider making sure they are riding straight it seems to always be the horses fault! The next time I feel like my horse isn't going straight, I'll make sure to check that I am sitting and giving even aids to the horse.
One of the main themes was being able to ride the horse at different tempos in any of the lateral movements, such as during the leg yields. Being able to ride the horse in different tempos in different lateral movements is just the ultimate test of whether the horse is on all the aids. Overall, it was a wonderfully successful lesson, I said to Lil afterwards that I have never heard so many adjectives for good in just one lesson! I was even prouder when I heard Richard say to Lili that Fons is a "great horse" :)